Robert Henry is a special breed, and I mean that in the most complimentary sense of the phrase. He has it all – the whole package of artistic gifts – and in abundance. But, what strikes me about his playing is the sheer beauty – the concept, the intelligence, the control over every sound, the vision, the phenomenal listening to it all – all the attributes that comprise great artistry of the sort that touches our souls.
Pianist CONSTANCE CARROLL
Hailed as a “consummate artist — brilliant, formidable, effortless, and the epitome of control and poise,” Robert Henry is an internationally distinguished pianist, winning universal acclaim as orchestral soloist, recitalist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Possessing the rare combination of insight, inspiration, and a dazzling technique, he continues to touch and electrify audiences around the world.
flawless technique, smooth and limpid phrasing, exciting programming…
Career highlights include 2002 solo debut recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Wigmore Hall, with critics praising his “flawless technique, smooth and limpid phrasing, exciting programming.” He performed the opening concert for the 2004 MTNA National Convention, and has presented concerts under the auspices of the American Pianists Association, Chopin Foundation of America, National Gallery of Art, Glinka Conservatory, Phillips Collection, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, University of Alabama, Arkansas State University, Georgia State University, Strathmore Hall, Kitzingen Piano Festival (Germany), and the Ibla-Ragusa Piano Festival (Italy). He has presented concert tours of the U.S., England, Nova Scotia, Russia, Italy, and China (2014).
A renowned collaborator and chamber musician, he has appeared with such notable conductors as Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Michael Palmer, and Stefan Sanderling. Following his recent major orchestral debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Journal Constitution claimed Robert as “an accomplished musician, versatile and elegant…he elevated the concerto to a poignant statement.” Mr. Henry has presented recitals with the Pacifica Quartet, cellist Shauna Rolston, soprano Mary Ann Hart, and tenor Sergio Blasquez. He has toured internationally with the Grammy-winning Atlanta Boy Choir, directed by of Fletcher Wolfe, and has accompanied the masterclasses of eminent artists Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade, and Håkan Hagegård.
Along with cellist Charae Krueger, he has presented the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven. He is also a founding member of the Summit Piano Trio, joined by Helen Kim (violin) and Charae Krueger (cello). The Summit Piano Trio is scheduled to release a debut recording in 2014. Critics have praised his ensemble playing, saying, “It was clear from the outset that Robert Henry is a master of the keyboard. He moves easily from being an accompanist, to a soloist, to one member of the dialogue between his instrument and the ensemble. Robert Henry is top notch.”
Robert Henry has enjoyed phenomenal success in important piano competitions, ultimately winning the Gold Medal in four International Piano Competitions in the 2001¬-2002 season alone (New Orleans International Piano Competition, Washington International Piano Competition, Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, Alfredo Barilli International Piano Competition).These prizes stand alongside fourteen additional first place awards received throughout his career, including the Clara Wells National Competition. On three occasions, juries have spontaneously created special prizes to honor his performances, including Best Performance of a 20th-Century Work and Best Performance of a Commissioned Work. He is a laureate of the 2003 Seiler International Piano Competition (Germany).
His sound brings to mind the great pianists of the past, for whom beauty of tone was integral to the structure of the phrase.
A recently named International Steinway Artist, Mr. Henry has earned a reputation for giving stunning performances of the most demanding repertoire and for presenting overlooked masterpieces to the public, from Bach to Babajanian. One New York critic wrote, “Robert Henry’s Chopin-Godowsky Etudes were beautiful beyond description. His sound brings to mind the great pianists of the past, for whom beauty of tone was integral to the structure of the phrase.”
In response to Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Henry coordinated and performed in the 2006 “Pianists for New Orleans” tour of the United States, raising over $100,000 for the city. For these efforts, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans.
Robert Henry’s lyricism hits the mark. Cogent shaping, dynamism, and power …rapturous and texturally refined playing …absolutely enchanting. Gramophone Magazine
In 2010, Robert Henry released his debut CD, Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz, to rave reviews. Gramophone Magazine declared, “Robert Henry’s lyricism hits the mark. Absolutely enchanting.” The recording is a collection of some of the world’s best-loved melodies, featuring Nocturnes of Chopin, Fauré, Grieg, Liszt, and many others, including the world premiere of Alexei Stanchinsky’s forgotten Nocturne from 1907. Also featured is Mr. Henry’s own published transcription of “Waltz for the Lonely”, originally by guitarist Chet Atkins. Mr. Henry was also winner of two 2010 Telly Awards for the documentary about his recording experience, “The Making of Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz.” He is regularly heard locally and nationally on NPR’s Atlanta Music Scene and Performance Today.
In recent news, Mr. Henry has just released the world premiere recording of Brahms’ recently discovered “Albumblatt,” available now on iTunes as a single. This track will also be included in the album, “As the Songbird Sings: Music of Schubert and Brahms,” to be released Fall, 2013.
Future projects include a 2014 live recording of Brahms and Dvorak Piano Trios, a 2014 tour of China, a recording of Beethoven’s Complete Works for Cello and Piano with cellist Charae Krueger, and a recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I.
Mr. Henry earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, with additional studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Glinka Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was awarded the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award. He has studied closely with pianists Larissa Dedova, Sergei Dzevanovsky, Anne Koscielny, David Watkins, Sergei Babayan, and André Watts.
As an educator and pedagogue, Robert Henry presents lectures, masterclasses, residencies, youth concerts, and has been featured in American Music Teacher, Gramophone, and Clavier. He has served as recitalist, clinician, and juror for state, regional, and national MTNA conventions and competitions. He operates an exclusive private studio in Atlanta, GA. Presently, he is Artistic Director of the Great Performances Concert Series in Highlands, NC, Assistant Director of the Atlanta Boy Choir, Organist-Choirmaster of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Highlands, NC, and he proudly serves as Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA.
Robert and his wife Meryl live in historic Marietta, GA, where they are celebrating the birth of their baby boy, Lucas Sebastian Henry. He maintains his web-presence at www.roberthenry.org.
For other versions of this biography, with easy-to-read highlights, quotes, and reviews, please visit the Press Kit section
(Updated July, 2013)